‘Peace and harmony should prevail’: PM Modi to council of ministers ahead of Ayodhya verdict


Peace and harmony should prevail in the country after the Ayodhya verdict is delivered by the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his council of ministers and top government functionaries on Wednesday.

According to an official privy to the developments, Modi emphasized on everyone should respect the court verdict, expected before November 17 — regardless of the outcome.

“The prime minister headed a long meeting of his council of ministers which lasted till late evening and during it he also turned the focus back on cleanliness. Modi asked his team why there were unclean areas despite the massive push by his government,” a second functionary present at the meeting said. The prime minister has indicated that sustained efforts on cleanliness need to be made, he added.

Modi asked political leaders to be responsible in their comments. During the meeting, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba detailed the status of implementation of various cabinet decisions. It is likely that various government departments and educational institutions will participate actively in the Constitution Day celebrations, a drive the law ministry is steering. The Modi government had in 2015 declared November 26 as the Constitution Day. The idea is to spread the values imbibed in the Constitution among all citizens.

Meanwhile, a prominent Muslim leader said on Wednesday that the community would accept the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit as leaders and representatives of political parties and faiths appealed for calm ahead of the crucial verdict.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Paramilitary personnel stand guard as the security situations tighten in Ayodhya on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

© Provided by HT Digital Streams Limited Paramilitary personnel stand guard as the security situations tighten in Ayodhya on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind president Arshad Madani said though he believed the Babri Masjid was a mosque as per Islamic laws, the community was willing to accept the apex Court’s decision.

“We did not take to streets but chose to fight a legal battle…we are waiting for the SC verdict. We think it will be in our favour. But we have said it a thousand times that the country, law and SC is ours. We will accept the verdict,” the senior Jamait leader said.

His comments came a day after top Hindu and Muslim leaders met at the residence of minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have appealed for peace.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is likely to meet on Sunday to formulate the party’s stand on the contentious issue. A Congress functionary said the party’s highest decision-making body would firm up its strategy and also articulate its stand on the decades-old dispute to ensure that its leaders speak in one voice after the verdict. A large section of Hindus believes the 16th century mosque, Babri Masjid, was built on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Hindu god Ram. On December 6, 1992, a mob demolished the mosque, triggering a cycle of violence and riots across the country.

A five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi wrapped up a 40-day hearing on the title suit on October 16, paving the way for a judicial settlement of the over 2.77 acres of land.

The bench is considering petitions against a 2010 Allahabad high court judgment that ordered the disputed land be divided equally between the Nirmohi Akhada, a Hindu denomination, the Sunni Central Waqf Board and representatives of Ram Lalla, the child deity. The verdict is likely to be delivered before Gogoi retires on November 17. Ayodhya town continues to be on high alert and special training sessions are being organised for police personnel for any possible emergency situation.

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